West Ranch halts Cowboys’ 2-point attempt for win


It’s a common question in football: Will they go for two?

After scoring their final touchdown of the night against West Ranch, Canyon found itself down one and in that situation.

With seven seconds to go, they went for two. And didn’t make it. The Wildcats won their Foothill League opener, 28-27.

“I play to win. This is football,” said Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez of the two-point decision. “So there was no question. I didn’t even think about it twice.”

But the Wildcats played a little harder.

“Every single game we come in the underdogs and it’s a good feeling to win,” said West Ranch running back Jake Rice. “Everybody is doubting us. We came in and we won and it just feels great.

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Rice is the main reason for bringing the score so close.

The running back ran for a single-game, school-record 289 of the team’s 314 yards and all four touchdowns. That mark bested the previous record set by Jeff Coprich in 2011 (213 yards). He opened up the scoring for the Cats, rushing for back-to-back 56- and 82-yard touchdowns.

“We’ve been waiting for that,” said West Ranch coach Chris Varner. We knew he had the potential.”

Cowboy running backs Brian Devereaux and Henry Arellano occupied the Wildcat defense’s time.

Devereaux rushed for 185 yards on 14 carries as well as two touchdowns of 58 and 84 yards. Arellano rushed for 50 on eight carries.

“Going into this season, I knew Henry was going to be tough all by himself and then you add Devereaux into that,” Varner said. “That kid, he’s something real special. And just lucky we were able to contain him enough.”

Varner previously coached football at Canyon for 13 years. He embraced coming back to Cowboy Stadium, but the night’s win cemented his place with West Ranch.

“I love Canyon football, I love the school, I took a chance going out and it was nice to be able to come back and be with a great coaching staff who I love,” he said. “My hats off to them, they were prepared and they were a heck of a team.

“But this is my team now and it was pretty nice.”

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